Talking Safety and Health with Peter Calnan, Vice President, Safety and Health

Sep 19, 2018 5:05 AM ET

Safety and health are at the forefront of everything we do as a company. From the minute details of daily operations, to the grand scale of our global organization, we are constantly thinking about safety, how it impacts our people, how it impacts the mining industry internationally, and how we can do safety better. We spoke with our own Peter Calnan, VP of Safety and Health, to talk about our safety and health successes, and how innovation is helping make our mines the safest they can be.

Looking back on 2017, what were some of the major accomplishments and highlights for Safety and Health at Goldcorp?

Without a doubt, the major accomplishment for us in 2017 was the fact we had Zero Fatalities. Throughout 2016, we invested heavily in our StepIN program to improve the safety culture throughout the company. Under this program, sites were given freedom to implement their own site-specific initiatives. Observing the way our sites embraced the program was a real highlight, and the program’s value is evident in the results. We had the best safety performance from the sites in the history of the organization, with improvements occurring each quarter.

We significantly reduced events and potential fatal occurrences (PFOs) from 2016. I believe this achievement is a direct result of efforts to improve our communication and inspire our employees through StepIN and our Day of Remembrance sessions.

I also believe it is imperative we do not grow complacent while celebrating our successes. We must always continue to focus on safety and our commitment to being Safe Enough For Our Families.

What is Goldcorp doing to keep workforce safety and health top priority for the company?

Our commitment to Safe Enough For Our Families is a top priority for everyone at Goldcorp. Commitment to this vision can be observed throughout the organization, from our CEO and Executive Leadership team to our Mine General Managers. It’s easier to speak to and speak out about Safety and Health when you know there is a commitment from the top.

We have also been reinforcing the value and importance we put on relationships. It is important that supervisors have a relationship with their teams – that they are building a level of trust and respect and are making sure that everyone gets home safe.

How have advancements in technology impacted workforce health and safety at Goldcorp?

A good example is our Borden project which is the first all underground electric mine in our industry. The technology associated with Borden has given us worldwide recognition  for taking such strides in the industry. The battery electric vehicles (BEVs) deliver better air quality in underground mines due to no emissions from diesel engines. Also, with the exception of the sound of the tires against the ground and a slight hum, they make no noise. This is a quantum shift from typical diesel machinery for both emissions and sound. This shift is also reflected in the results from a satisfaction survey completed by employees at Borden, who are thrilled with the new technology.

At Peñasquito there is an entire drilling area that is run autonomously using Epiroc’s automated drilling technology. As a result, the workers are sitting in a clean environment rather than in the drill on the drill pattern.

Safety and health is my personal passion, it is inspiring to observe the progress we have made at Goldcorp, and my personal goal is for us to be the safest and healthiest employer in the mining industry. I am really encouraged by how we performed in 2017, and looking forward to continuing success throughout 2018.

To read Peter’s full Q&A please visit our 2017 Sustainability Report.